casey Posted October 2, 2015 Share Posted October 2, 2015 WASHINGTON — Six U.S. service members and five contractors were killed in a C-130 crash at Jalalabad Airport in Afghanistan, the Pentagon said late Thursday.The crash, which occurred just after midnight Friday Afghanistan time, involved a C-130J assigned to the 774th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron, which is part of the 455th Air Expeditionary Wing.The airport at Jalalabad, located about 100 miles east of Kabul, is used only for military and United Nations flights.In a post online, the Taliban claimed they had shot down the aircraft, killing 15 “invaders” plus several Afghan “hirelings.”However, U.S. Air Force Maj. Tony Wickman, a spokesman for the 455th said, “Enemy fire is not suspected as a factor in the crash. There is, however, an ongoing investigation by officials to determine the cause of the crash.”“The aircraft crash site is contained wholly within the confines of the airfield,” he said in a statement.“It’s with a heavy heart that I share with you the loss of six brave airmen today, as well as five contract civilians,” he said.Four of the airmen were deployed from Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, and two were deployed from Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., Wickman said, adding that the names of the deceased would be withheld until their families were notified.All aboard the C-130J Super Hercules were assigned to Operation Resolute Support, the NATO-led mission to provide training and security assistance in Afghanistan.About 9,500 U.S. servicemembers remain in Afghanistan after the administration’s decision earlier this year to keep a larger U.S. force size on the ground to help the Afghan government solidify security gains.The Lockheed C-130 Hercules transport plane, which has been in service since the mid-1950s, has been used extensively throughout the 14-year war to move equipment and troops across the mountainous country, which has few usable roads. The C-130J model is the latest version and is the only one still in production. It has been extensively upgraded with new turboprop engines that give it much better performance and allow for safer hot-and-high take-offs and landings on remote dirt airstrips.The Afghan air force also operates four of the earlier C-130H models.Three other C-130s have been lost in Afghanistan, all of them in 2002, during the U.S.-led offensive that resulted in the ouster of the Taliban regime.View original article at StarsandStripes.com View full article Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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